Belfast Telegraph

Former IRA bomber McGlinchey helps design theft proof ATM 'pod'

Sean McGlinchey
Sean McGlinchey

A former IRA bomber is behind a new design to thwart would-be ATM thieves.

Sean Fein councillor Sean McGlinchey was part of a team which has designed a concrete "pod" to house bank machines, The Irish News has reported.

It comes after a spate of ATM thefts across Northern Ireland this year. Between February and May there were 15 ATM thefts and two attempts to steal machines at separate locations with eight machines recovered.

In some of the thefts diggers were taken from nearby building sites and used to rip the machines from the walls of businesses. The machines were then dropped into a car which would have had the roof cut out to enable a quick getaway.

CCTV footage showed thieves able to carry out the raid in under five minutes.

There were concerns many businesses would opt to do away with their machines leaving rural communities without access to cash. Many of those business affected were forced to close - some for weeks at a time - to allow for repairs.

Police upped patrols and urged those in rural areas to be on the look out for heavy machinery moving about late at night.

Mr McGlinchey works for engineering firm Ideal Form and was on its team which helped design the pod. The former Limavady mayor was convicted of the 1973 car bombing of Coleraine in which six people were killed.

He said he came up with the idea when he visited one of the shops targeted by the ATM thieves.

Built with specialised concrete and heavy steel, the standalone super strong structure encases an ATM machine.

One pod has already been installed at a business near Dungiven which had its ATM machine taken.

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Councillor McGlinchey told the Irish News it would take someone a day and a half with a digger and rock hammer to shift the machine inside.

“It’s standalone, not near the shop and is near impossible to take out,” he said.

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